Once upon a time, there was a kingdom where pillow forts blanketed the land and rainbow slinkies stretched to the sky. As blue raspberry Ring Pops dominated the fashion world, pizza Lunchables provided the most mouthwatering meals. Likewise, SpongeBob SquarePants and Sabrina the Teenage Witch represented our idols and everyone dreamed of being drenched in ooey gooey green slime.

This land of yesterday, where pretend and play walked hand-in-hand, seems like a distant memory to those consumed with the responsibilities of everyday life. Between work, school and family, it’s simple to forget about the days of make-believe and fantasy; however, a life filled with all work and no play proves to be lackluster no matter what anyone may say.

Maturity and focus are essential for success, yet they can transform into adverse forces if granted too much control. Without fun, excessive responsibility can inevitably fester into stress and woe. For example, you toil away for 13 years to receive a fancy piece of paper with your name on it and all you desire in return is a splendid summer before your inaugural year in college. Nevertheless, there still remains a mountain of work that must be accomplished before you can enjoy any of the three S’s: sun, surf and sand.

From making life choices that seem to dictate my whole future (namely major and class selection) to starting my very first job, my summer has definitely been jam-packed with duties. At times, it’s overwhelming to juggle everything I place on my ever-expanding plate; yet, I always find time for amusement that appeases my inner child.

I'm a firm believer in the power of youth: a capacity that’s not limited by the amount of candles that illuminate your birthday cake. The enduring adage that declares “Age is just a number” may be cliché and quixotic, but I'm a sucker for sappy conclusions. Take for instance, my love for all things Disney. Ever since I was a tiny tot, I loved venturing into the Magic Kingdom where the worlds of yesterday, tomorrow and fantasy intertwine. This realm of cookie-cutter towns, fairytale endings and boundless happiness never fails to place a smile on my face.

While I’m an annual pass holder who’s fortunate enough to frequently visit the resort, the magic never wears off. No matters how many times I stroll down Main Street, spin into a dizzy stupor on the Tea Cups or inhale the sickly sweet aroma of cotton candy fused with popcorn, Disneyland is and will forever be my “happy place.” Ultimately, Disneyland personally represents not only a source of entertainment, but also a form of escape to simpler times where I can feel at ease.

Do you remember the mornings in which you would tirelessly scramble downstairs to watch your favorite Sunday morning cartoons like Tom & Jerry or The Flintstones? Do you recall the abundant delight that would pulsate throughout your body from rolling down a grassy hill? And, who can forget the excitement from opening your Happy Meal box and discovering your favorite toy inside?

I know I remember. This is because my youthful origins are close at hand; however, being a devoted Mouseketeer is not the only panacea to combat the struggles of adulthood. Whether you revisit your past via a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles marathon or playground outgoing, all these activities are helpful as you are acknowledging your past in an attempt to better your present and future self.

Through childhood escapism, I believe we can alleviate the stresses of day-to-day life and gain a greater insight into our overall condition. College life and adulthood are taxing. It’s no secret that you’ll face your fair share of trials and tribulations in the upcoming year as you transition into the next chapter of your life.

While it may be incredibly stressful to manage your 16-credit workload, part time job at the local coffee shop and tumultuous social life, remember to avoid constant austerity and sternness. Of course, a life constituted entirely of immaturity and frivolity isn’t advantageous either since maturity is necessary for certain tasks. Nevertheless, I urge you to dance in the rain, pop in your favorite VHS tape and don a cape like Superman or Batman because these childish activities can teach you to value all the little things in your non-stop adult life.

By occasionally dawdling in the land of daring knights, alluring princesses and mystical spells, you stand a better chance at tackling any menacing “dragon,” or predicament, in your life. As I see it, individuals, who momentarily slip into the world of fantasy, can better grasp reality since they can now perceive the real world with a clear mind. While fantastical elements are considered silly and unimportant to some, they can definitely help you take a step back and reassess your actuality.

In conclusion, people will always try to transform you into a sensible young adult. This is inevitable in an ever-changing world. Nonetheless, it’s your job to remind them that there truly is power behind magic spells, hocus pocus, and happy endings.  

Lead Image Credit: http://imgarcade.com/1/peter-pan-never-grow-up-silhouette/